Meet the hipster Gosselins!
Well, kind of.
Bob and Cortney Novogratz have seven kids (one short of Jon and Kate) and a reality show (“9 By Design”), but that's thankfully where the Gosselin similarities end.
The Novogratz's are the husband and wife owners of Sixx Design.
“We buy properties, we gut them then we build amazing homes,” Bob told Fox411.com.
They've been doing it for years and have made millions, so money wasn’t what motivated this husband and wife team to film their reality show, which premiered on Bravo this week.
“We are fortunate enough to be in a gazillion design magazines, and we also had a lot of kids, so every network came to us and offered us a show,” Bob explained.
But the couple, who live in a lavish six-story structure in New York City they designed and built themselves, had serious reservations about featuring their family on TV.
“We thought about it for about six months: should we do it, shouldn’t we do it?" Bob said. "And one day we said, ‘screw it, let’s just go for it.’”
Some of their kids, who range in age from under-a-year to almost-a-teenager, were excited about the opportunity.
“We watch a lot of reality television with them,” Cortney told Fox411.com. “We talked to the older kids, [and asked] ‘what do you guys think about doing it?’ And for the most part they were pretty excited and said, ‘let’s go for it.’”
“Certain kids were into it and certain kids weren’t,” added Bob, “But we were fortunate that [Bravo] respected the kids’ privacy and only showed them in a real positive light.”
Luckily since there are so many of them, the kids got to choose when they wanted to be on or off camera. “Whoever was up for it that day got to be filmed, and if you weren’t up for it, you’d have another brother or sister who was around to do it, so it was fine,” said Cortney.
Middle son, Breaker, 8, told Fox411.com that at first it was “weird” to have cameras in the house, “but it’s fun once you see everything put together.”
The family started filming the show, which airs on Bravo on Tuesdays, in 2009 while Cortney was still pregnant with baby No. 7, Major, who was born in January. For Cortney, that was the toughest part. “It was stressful some days,” said the busy mom. “Waking up at 6 o’clock in the morning and letting a film crew in when you’re nine months pregnant is not ideal, but it was fun."
The kids also had fun with all the extra people in the house and a crew that felt like friends.
"The crew were really neat because some of them brought their kids to set, some of them owned pets and would bring their dog to work, so that our kids got to have a dog for the day,” says Cortney. “So it really was a fun, happy, situation.”
Plus mom and dad insisted on calling the shots. “It’s our show, we are in control,” said Cortney.
For instance, “they wanted to show our beautiful bathroom off, and we’re like, we’re not taking a bath together,” Bob said. “I was like, ‘that’s not gonna happen.’”
Another thing you won’t get is a bickering reality couple on the outs. “They knew going in that there wasn’t a lot of dysfunction,” said Bob. “I read an article about some of these reality families who got divorced because of the show, but maybe nobody said that they didn’t have a very good marriage before they started filming?”
“Cortney and I have a great marriage and we wouldn’t put that on the line,” says Bob. “We’re not going to let it affect us whatsoever.”
“We’ll help each other through it,” adds Cortney. “We did not go into this lightly. Just like every project, people love it, people hate it, and that’s okay. But no matter what our kids do with their lives, they get an education of putting an entire television show together. They learned it right here with mom and dad, we were all in it together.”
The best part?
“Twenty years from now, our son knows what we were doing when he was born, and that is pretty cool,” says Cortney. “I really think it’s gonna be a fun ride.”